So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye

Well, it's official...summer is almost over and I can't say I'm particularly thrilled about it. I absolutely love summer. First of all, I'm not a morning person. At all. So not having to set an alarm is one of my all time favorite things. Secondly, I love warm weather. Being able to leave the house without having to pile on layers of clothes makes me very very happy. Also I love swimming, beaches, reading/napping under a shady tree, lemonade, iced tea and basil. Tomatoes, green beans and cucumbers are my favorite vegetables. And honestly, I love having my kids around.

This may have been my best summer ever since I became a mom. Sure there was plenty of whining and arguing and craziness and messes, but there was also so much great stuff. The kids played by themselves and with the neighbors, spent tons of time outside, read lots of books, sampled lots of produce straight out of the garden (including chili peppers!!!), and overall managed to occupy themselves really well. I love the way they create their own projects and games and really dive into the things they're interested in. I can't say I don't ever wish for JUST 5 FREAKING MINUTES of silence, but I also enjoy listening to them talk while I learn who they are and who they are becoming. All three kids love music, playing dodge ball on the neighbors' trampoline, hanging out with their friends (we are blessed to have so many right on our block!) and creating art. They are also all OBSESSED with Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series. And they are all goofy as all get out.

Karlye loves to hang out with her friends and talk talk talk talk talk and is also really starting to get into reading. Both girls love to sing, and dance and are really into their Build-A-Bears. Sasha loves pink and sparkles and any article of clothing that she can twirl in properly. She plays for hours alone in her room or with her friends, often creating giant messes in the process. She's been checking out books on butterflies, polar bears and hamsters and is hoping to convince Justin to let her buy a hamster of her own. She helped me pick out butterfly plants to add to our flower garden because she wanted to attract monarch butterflies so she could study them.

Jordan reminds me a lot of myself. He has a lot of interests and seems to immerse himself in all of them. He's got his nose buried in a book about fifty percent of the time. If it's not Percy Jackson it's anything on dragons, Harry Potter, or LEGOS/Ninjago. He's also into the Hobbit and has started (for the second time) to try to read the Lord of the Rings trilogy. His interests are so intermingled and multi-dimensional. If he's into a book he has to read it, listen to it on CD, watch the movie if there is one, learn about the author, explore the book's general subject matter, and create projects based on it. After he read the Percy Jackson books he checked out and read books on Greek and Roman mythology.  He just started writing a book about a mythical creature he invented that's similar to a Hobbit and he's almost finished drawing the map he created to go with the book. He learned to read and write Anglo Saxon runes from a book on dragons he checked out at the library and was thrilled to discover that J.R.R. Tolkien used them in his books. He also spends an inordinate amount of time playing with LEGOS. He and his friend Tyler used his tablet to video tape two episodes of a Ninjago show they created.

BUT in spite of all this magical summer wonderfulness, I'm not actually dreading the start of school. Having an actual routine, time to work more and some time to myself won't such bad things. And there's a lot of new things to be excited about. Karlye's starting middle school and Jordan's starting intermediate school. They have class schedules and lockers...stuff I didn't have until high school. Jordan's going to learn to play the baritone. Sasha has a new teacher and a chance to meet new friends, and even though she has to go to lunch later than the kindergartners she also gets to stay on the playground longer than they do. Both Jordan and Sasha will be on new soccer teams. And we've had a lot of fun these last few weeks of summer. Jordan and Karlye went to Dubuque and Galena with Grandpa Glen and Grandma Louise who then took Sasha and her cousin Jack to the Cave of the Mounds and to ride the train in Baraboo. With the return of the hot weather we've been to the beach, the pool and yesterday we checked out the new splash pad nearby. Maybe all that will tide us over until next summer...